"In recent years there has been a huge investment in micro generation from both customers and small scale providers, particularly in residential PV. However, current metering arrangements are very basic, which limits the effectiveness of this investment.
If there was provision for neighbours to trade energy directly with each other, and be compensated for doing so, the true potential of this investment would be unlocked. Identifying the biggest issues for small scale energy providers is challenge, facilitating micro payments, more representative billing algorithms and time of day pricing would allow a provider to sell energy to local end-users.
The inclusion of energy storage could play a key role in developing a low-carbon energy systems, bringing flexibility and providing back-up to intermittent renewable generation sources. Understanding how storage is to be used locally would improve the management of distribution networks, reduce costs and improve efficiencies, supporting grid decarbonisation and off-setting the need for costly network investment.
Our research will inform on the obstacles and enablers for future energy supply arrangements at the local, decentralised and neighbourhood scales. Transacting directly with end users and producers deep down in the utility networks in an economically viable manner is currently a significant business and technological challenge with not all barriers well understood.
Through cross disciplinary research the TESA project will landscape the social, technical, regulatory, and design pathways to enable the future supply of energy to customers that will further stimulate investment in electricity generation both from small scale providers and customers themselves, reducing the nation's demands for large scale infrastructure investments."